And speaking of umbrellas.......
It was purely by chance (no, really: it was) that the editor happened upon the Safebrella - "the first umbrella in the world with a removable walking stick", according to the Pro.idee site.
For the entirely exorbitant sum of £54.50, one may equip oneself with this marvel of modern engineering. Although Lady Bracknell is wholly unconvinced that one might want to. Lady Bracknell owns a superfluity of umbrellas, and has a fine collection of sticks. There was a time when she was sufficiently mobile to manage short journeys without a stick. (Indeed, there may yet come a time when she is able to do this again. Although she is not holding her breath...) On such occasions, and if the weather looked threatening, she would leave the house with a stout umbrella. Her umbrellas were carefully chosen to have sufficient length and strength to perform the function of a walking stick reasonably well until the moment when the heavens opened. At which point Lady Bracknell would raise the umbrella. She would walk unaided, but she would be protected from the rain.
It is all very well for some German designer to come up with the notion of an umbrella from the handle of which one may detach a walking stick but, unless Germans generally have three arms (a proposition which Lady Bracknell considers to be improbable, if somewhat entertaining), the designer has signally failed to take into account the practicalities of getting about without either hand being free. How is the German lady expected to carry her handbag? How is the German gentleman to hold doors open in a courteous fashion for the German lady? Or tip his hat to the German lady? How is either to unlock the front door upon arriving home? Lady Bracknell notes that neither the stick nor the umbrella has a crook handle, which means that neither could be hung temporarily over the wrist should it suddenly become necessary to use a hand for some other purpose.
One could just as easily carry a walking stick and an umbrella with one as carry an umbrella with a detachable stick. But both alternatives are entirely impractical. Instead, one is forced to prioritise between the need for support when walking, and the need to keep dry. Lady Bracknell tends to work on the theory that she is unlikely to dissolve if she gets wet.
Not that Lady Bracknell would wish to pour comparable scorn on everything which is for sale on the Pro-idee site. She is much taken with the cashmere fingerless gloves to the right, and is considering ordering a pair in pink for those rare occasions when the temperature outdoors is sufficiently low for her hands to feel cold. Although she imagines that a pair might also come in useful for the editor when she is working at the keyboard of the computing device on a particularly chilly day.